Colonel Al Byrne Award

Colonel Al Byrne Award

The Colonel Al Byrne Award recognizes local individuals who share the late Colonel’s belief that all youth should be provided the facilities and adult leadership to experience athletic training and competitive individual and/or team sports.  They also believe, as the Colonel did, that those youth that participate will learn skills and obtain values that will help them succeed in their later life endeavors.  The award recipient has also demonstrated a commitment to these beliefs by sharing his or her time, talents and, in many cases, personal resources with no recognition required or desired.  The award is voted on by the past presidents of the association and is a tightly held secret until the winner is revealed the night of the annual All Sports Association Awards Dinner each February.

Colonel Al Byrne Award Nomination Form (click HERE for form)

Please submit and non-electronic nominations to: Rube Manasco (phone 850-420-7624), Col. Al Byrne Award Chairman, [email protected], or mail to: All Sports Association, P.O. Box 2591, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549

 

2020 Colonel Al Byrne Award Winner – Crawford “Bear” Henley

, Colonel Al Byrne Award

The All Sports Association was started by Colonel Al Byrne, who believed the youth in Northwest Florida should have the coaching, leadership, and facilities to participate in sports. After his passing in 1973, the Colonel Al Byrne Award was established to honor those who shared his beliefs and put those beliefs into action, often with little or no recognition.

The Colonel Al Byrne Award was presented to Crawford “Bear” Henley on February 7th, 2020, at the 51st All Sports Association Awards Banquet at the Emerald Coast Conference Center. Henley was selected for his work with the Boys and Girls Club, Fort Walton Beach City League Soccer program, Shalimar Football League, Boy Scouts Gulf Coast Council, and so much more.

In 1996, Henley took over a struggling Boys and Girls Club with just 30 members and grew it into a thriving organization serving 1,800 young people through seven clubs across three counties. Henley also transformed the Club financially, from significant debt to a stable financial footing.

Every one of the thousands of kids impacted by Henley seems to have a fond memory or story about his influence. Local business owner Robert Bustamante remembers how “Mr. Bear kind of rigged” a raffle so Robert could win the stuffed bear he wanted so much. Robert said, “I am who I am today because of Mr. Bear.” Another local business owner, Lydia Williams, a club member from ages 5 to 13, said, “I owe him so much.”

Henley is also recognized by community leaders. Okaloosa County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel calls Henley “a quiet hero who walks among us.” William Hughes, Church Administrator for First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach, says “Bear’s heart for children, his community, and helping people is a quality rarely found in today’s world.”

In 2011, in recognition of Henley’s service, the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast dedicated the Fort Walton Beach Youth and Teen Center as the Crawford W. “Bear” Henley Boys and Girls Club.

 

Past Col. Al Byrne Award Winners

 

2019 George Goodall
2018 Ray Chavez
2017 Todd Gatlin
2016  Sherman Moon
2015  John Watts
2014  Brian and Kathy Haugen
2013  Bill Shirah
2012  Rev. James T. Ross
2011  Ralph Duncan
2010  Fred Carley
2009  Bob Lynn
2008  Tom Brassell, Don Pattison
2007  Rube Manasco
2006  Sam Brunson
2005  Paul Martin
2004  James C. “Jimmy” Campbell
2003  Mary Jane Ross
2002  Huburt “Rocky” Bates
2001  Bull Cochran
2000  James Campbell
1999  Bruce Ravan
1998  Charles Morgan, John Shortall
1997  Judge Alfred Ben Gordon, Jr., Kathleen A Ravan
1996  Ralph Frangioni
1995  Al Beedie
1994  Hiram Cook
1993  Leven Lord
1992  Bill Roberts, Jr., Pud Hutcheson, Robert Taylor
1991  Ray Deal, George Palmer
1990  Buddy O’Neal, H.A. Bruner, Jay Farris, Arthur Mikel
1989  Julius Rice, M.L. Hayden
1988  Michael Woodham
1987  Louis Woodham, H.P. Pat Campbell, Bill Preston, Sr., Gene Thomas
1986  Grady Smith
1985  Dr. Eddie Zant
1984  Ron Balicki
1983  O.R. Bailey
1982  Joe Etheridge
1981  Houston Harrison
1980  Jerry Brigante
1979  Rev. Talmadge Smith
1978  Buddy Elliott
1977  Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth
1976  Bettye Campbell
1975  Hal Wyatt
1974  Buck Smith

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